The PEDAL members met the activists of Bil’in village in the West Bank and staged a protest against Israel’s unlawful occupation of the Palestinian land and the “security wall.” The group had arrived in Istanbul in early June and held a joint press conference with the executives of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, one of the organizers of this year’s Freedom Flotilla II.
CROSSING 18 COUNTRIES
The group named “PEDAL - 100 days to Palestine” reached Palestine crossing 18 countries and linking communities responding to Palestinian civil society’s calls for Boycott, Isolation and Sanction since 2005 and fighting social injustice.
The arrival of the bike activists in Palestine following the Freedom Flotilla II and Welcome to Palestine “Fly-in” action in recent weeks mounted pressure on Israel to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights.
PEDAL member Jen Peachey said: “We have seen governments around the world actively colluding with Israel’s illegal occupation and blockade of Gaza – whether it is through US military aid, UK diplomatic silence or Greek coast guards blocking the Flotilla. However, people will rise to do what is needed at the point where governments are mistaken. That is why we have come to Palestine.”
The group including fruit-vegetable growers, reporters and activists had taken part in BDS international days of action and ran educational workshops about the campaign. The protests that have been taking place in Bil’in for over six years met violent response of the Israeli army today. Tear gas, sound grenades and live ammunition fired overheard as usual took place today too.
WE OPPOSE APARTHEID, COLONIALISM AND OCCUPATION
British food grower William Ronan said: “We are working with the BDS movement, popular committees and dissenting Israeli organizations to challenge Israel’s illegal actions. This way we can actively support the Palestinian struggle for equal rights in the face of apartheid, colonization and occupation.”
Abdullah Abu Rahma, a Bil’in activist who invited PEDAL, said: “By Palestinians, Israelis and internationals standing in solidarity and taking grassroots action- we can end Israel’s illegal occupation.”
The bike activists started organizing this journey of solidarity after nine activists were killed in the Israeli raid on last year’s Freedom Flotilla in international waters. The group had been exchanging seeds with groups along their way with the initiative “Seedbank of Solidarity” and will distribute them to Palestinian farmers whom they will be meeting next week.